UnNews:Ohio family looks forward to celebrating WASP Christmas
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22 December 2007
SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio (UNN)- For Mrs. Edwin Standish of Shaker Heights Ohio, the final days before Christmas Eve are not spent in a crowded shopping mall, but rather tending to the selection of a Christmas Goose suitable for her family's WASP Christmas eve meal.
"It is tradition in our household to begin the Christmas holiday with a plump goose meal. I understand that many families will eat ham, and that is lovely for them, isn't it? But for the Standish family, it is goose," comments the wife of retired Cleveland investment banker Edwin Standish. "Why people have to go out of there way to make it difficult to find a good pate de foie gras is beyond me."
Planning is the key to a smooth WASP Christmas Mrs. Standish will point out. "A well-planned celebration is the lynch pin to avoiding the type of unpleasantness that can ruin memories for years to come, and open old wounds of inadequacy and failure to live up to ones promise that simply simmering right below the surface. It really is just easier this way. "
In fact the only real change to the couple’s routine is the removal of the liquor cabinet contents. According to Mrs. Standish, "our daughter Paige is recovering alcoholic. She was born with a hollow leg, just like her grandfather. We tried simply locking the bar up last year but Edwin came down one evening last year and found that she had picked the lock and wasted a whole bottle of 100-year old scotch as if it were a bottle of Pinch. So this year – to avoid any unpleasantness, where just having it shipped to a safe place, off grounds, and then it will returned in time for New Years Eve."
Edwin Standish is concerned for his daughter as well. "Paige had a rough childhood. She was pudgy, had horrible acne, and a very difficult puberty, remember that Martha? So I offered her a Johnny Walker Red and branch water one day for the helluva it, thought it would get her mind off of the other stuff. Had no idea what it would unleash in her, and its really very sad that she got hooked. But like we used to say at Yale, you can lead a horse to water, but if its wants to drink the whole damned tough, what are you going to do? Right?"
"But really, there is nothing special about our observance of the birth of Lord and Savior. We are just like any other family. Our children and their families will make it home for the holiday meal, there will be the exchange of gifts, and we will attend midnight services at St. Matthew Episcopal. In the morning we will gather around the Christmas tree in the morning room before going to the Country Club for its special hristmas Day brunch service," explains Mrs. Standish.
The Standishes are the parents of son and daughter-in-law Mr. and Mrs. William Standish of Southampton, New York, daughters Paige, Melissa and their husbands Dr. Gerald Creighton of Scarsdale, New York, and Jonathan Dalrymple, Esq. of Boston, Massachusetts respectively. The Standishs also are the parents of twin boys, sons Charles (a student at Harvard University) and Bruce – a leather craftsman from San Francisco.
Christmas preparation in the Standish household began in the Summer, and will continue up until the last guest has gone. Only then will the family's faithful retainers will get to rest. Work on Standish residence eight guest rooms, all with twin beds, is proceeding, with housekeeper Mrs. Danvers leading the others to ensure that the Standish children, their spouses and grandchildren have any amenity that they would need at hand.
The only fly in the ointment to pre-celebration serenity comes from the housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers. "I have had a great deal of difficulty locating the one-pound container of Fist Butter for Mr. Bruce's lover Mr. Master John. No market in town stocks it. It must be a regional brand found in super-markets in San Francisco."
"They really love taking care of us, and that they love our grandchildren as much as we do." commented Edwin Standish. In the family household, tradition holds that the grandchildren get to enjoy a special treat during their Christmas visit to their grandparents house.
"They get to eat with Butler, Housekeeper, Cook, Maid and Driver in their the private dining room off of the service porch. They really enjoy being with Mrs. Robinson, Mrs. Danvers and Mr. Lerch, commented both Mr. and Mrs. Standish. The servants wing is normally off limits to the grandchildren, "but sometimes you have to make those special allowances, and when you do its just easier on everybody."
To round out the holiday festivities, the Standish’s will bid farewell to their loved ones on Wednesday morning as they are transported to Cleveland's Hopkins International Airport. "As much as we love them," says Mrs., Standish, "it is important that our life resumes. It’s easier on all of us and after all, we have other obligations that must be met. After all time stops for no man. "